Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mouse Virus

The past two months I've constantly felt like I was about to pass out, which made it hard to read, write, watch tv, talk, drive and carry on conversations. Until last Saturday when it suddenly went away. And when I tell people I am feeling better they sometimes ask, "Why do you think that is?" or "What do you attribute that to?" and I have to wonder what kind of answer they are expecting. Next time someone asks me something like that, I am just going to answer, "mouse virus."

Even more annoying is the person who should really know better by now, who, when I told them I'd been feeling better this week asked, "So what now, are you going to go back to school?" This was really the last person who should have been asking me that. I wish I had given them a disappointed look, said "Really?" and walked out of the room. But instead I swallowed my pride and frustration and calmly said, "No, I'm not an idiot, " and explained how I'm wasn't feeling that much better. And even if I were, after a week of that much activity, I would crash again. Just like what happened the last time I tried to go back to school. And the last time...

Of course if I were miraculously cured and felt really good, how would I know if the post-exertional malaise was gone too? Would I just have to try and see? Go for a long walk and see if I wake up feeling poisoned the next day? Enroll in one class and see if I can handle that? Then next semester enroll in two?

Maybe by this time next year I could go to a doctor and they will actually be monitoring my viral load and will be able to tell, in a quantifiable way me how much better I am. That's the dream.

Actually though if you really suspected you were miraculously cured of CFS you could just take a two day exercise test. If you were cured, your VO2max and anaerobic threshold would not drop the second day.

It was encouraging to see so much written about the PNAS paper in the news. It was the most popular article on Monday in the LA Times health section. On Tuesday the news was even on my favorite NPR show, Marketplace. Why was it on a show about business news? Because this groundbreaking discovery was made entirely with private funds. No thanks to the CDC.

And speaking of the CDC, this is interesting: On the FDA website there's an FAQ page about the new study. Question 10 is about the discrepancy between the latest study, which found MLVs, and the CDC study, which found nothing. The FDA tested 34 of the CDC's samples, and they also found nothing. I'd very much like to know more about this. When enough studies are done, and there is a general consensus that MLVs cause CFS, which I think will happen, how will it look if none of the CDC's "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" samples have the virus?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Big News

Just found out the PNAS paper is coming out Monday. Now I'm all excited and I won't sleep. My life is strange.